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Rosemary and Thyme: Cagney And Lacey Meets Gardener’s World

 

Many of the posts here on Nostalgia Pie are mainly focused on popular culture from the 1970s-1990s – what I consider to be my era.  But today’s post is all about Rosemary and Thyme, a murder mystery series that began in 2003 and lasted for three series, which starred Felicity Kendal and Pam Ferris – two very familiar faces from my childhood.

A series about two gardeners turned amateur sleuths sounded like something that was right up my street. After all I did grow up on a diet Murder, She Wrote, Hart to Hart, and Miss Marple! So I couldn’t wait for this new ITV drama series to begin. And I did find it very enjoyable; maybe a little slow paced but then when the show is about two female landscape gardeners heading towards the autumn years of their life, it was never going to be Starsky and Hutch!

The series centres around Rosemary Boxer, a never-married landscape gardener and lecturer, and Laura Thyme, a former policeman and mother of two whose marriage ended upon discovering her husband’s affair with a much younger colleague. Laura is very close to her son Tom, but we later discover that her relationship with her daughter is rather strained although the two do eventually make up.

Rosemary and Laura meet and become friends  in the first episode and discover that they both have a love of gardening, which culminates in them working together on various horticultural projects through the series. It just so happens that many of these projects that they undertake also involve someone being murdered; a crime which is always solved by Rosemary and Thyme!

As much as I’m getting stuck into my new life in the States I won’t lie, I am very homesick and have a yearning for all things English, which is what brought me  to Rosemary and Thyme because the countryside, greenery, flower beds, stately homes and cottages… You can’t get more English than that! And despite being a city girl, the show does very much remind me of the place I still call home.

I’m disappointed that only three series were ever made but I am enjoying watching them again. Lounging around on the couch with a box of choccies while watching Rosemary and Thyme while the snow’s pelting down outside is definitely my idea of bliss.

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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in This, That and the Other!

 

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Southfork Will Never Be The Same Again.

It’s exactly a month today since we lost acting legend Larry Hagman – and I still can’t believe it. Like most kids growing up in the 1980s, I had a bit of a penchant for glitzy, glam American soaps like Dynasty and Dallas – even though I know I was a bit on the young side! I don’t know how or why my mother allowed me to stay up past my bedtime to view such shenanigans but I did and I have fond memories of watching JR’s dastardly deeds along with my mum. I also have fond memories of watching Hagman’s classic comedy series, I Dream of Jeannie, weekday afternoons with my grandad, after school.

Although he was an established actor who had starred in films and TV series’ such as Nixon, Superman, Primary Colors and Nip/Tuck,  it is his role as evil oil baron JR Ewing for which he will forever be synonymous. Who can forget that smirk… the dirty chuckle… the non-stop plotting and scheming? “Of course it’s fun to play the villain,” declared Hagman during filming back in 2011. And as we all know, it’s a role he played to perfection.

Ken Kercheval, who played JR’s arch rival Cliff Barnes, once said that in real life, Hagman was the complete opposite of the conniving character he played so well in Dallas. That could well be true. I remember his appearance on Channel Five’s Open House With Gloria Hunniford and he came across as the most down to earth man and the only wicked thing about him was his sense of humour. The fact that some of his fellow cast mates were at his bedside when he sadly passed away speaks volumes.

It’s fitting that in the end his ashes were scattered across the ranch at Southfork. Larry Hagman wasn’t just the star of Dallas; he was Dallas. the new series will not be the same without him.

R.I.P Larry. Thanks for the entertainment. x

 

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2012 in Gone Too Soon, TV Shows

 

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Return to Walton’s Mountain

The never changing penultimate signature scene gets me every time because I know another fantastic episode has come to an end and I will have to wait an entire week to get my fix: through the branches of the trees in rural Virginia, the two storey family home, complete with porch emerges, enveloped by the night sky. Voices can be heard coming from inside the house as the family muse over recent happenings. There is total darkness except for the lights in a couple of the bedrooms, which are all eventually turned off as the family bid each good night before the soft strains of the feel-good theme tune can be heard.

 

“Goodnight Mama.”

“Goodnight John Boy.”

“Goodnight Mary Ellen.”

That’s right; it could only be the formidable Walton family. If that glorious theme tune could be on the soundtrack to my childhood, then the show itself must be part of the footage. When I was a kid it was compelling Sunday afternoon viewing that my family and I used to watch after Sunday mass. Back then I didn’t know anyone who didn’t watch The Waltons. I didn’t know anyone who didn’t like The Waltons. Sadly, at the time, I was too young to appreciate what wholesome, fine quality viewing the show was and probably thought that television would always be that way. It was sensitively written; beautifully acted, and contained scenes of the breathtaking Virginian countryside. There was usually a moral in every episode, along with depictions of hard work; family values; helping the community and religion.  However, I am old enough to realise that they don’t make them like that any more. The constant stream of mindless drivel on the television (Dear Lord, not another daft reality TV show) explains why I hardly ever watch television these days. I’m almost certain that the world would be a better place if we had more shows like this. Writers and producers, take note!

And of course, a TV series based on nostalgic reminiscings – from the narrations of a middle aged John-Boy Walton during the opening and closing scenes of every episode – can only be a good thing for a sentimental old fool like myself. Incidentally, John-Boy was a character I could identify with as, like me, he was the eldest; he took care of his younger siblings, and he had a deep desire to write. He ended up achieving his goal. Good for you John -Boy!

Clearly, I’m not the only one for whom the show brings back fond memories. The recent reunion of  the cast of The Waltons brought hoardes of the shows fans to the streets of Los Angeles proving that Walton-mania is still very much alive and kicking thirty one years after the last episode was broadcast. The reunion was to celebrate the show’s fortieth anniversary – although many of the cast do not look old enough to be celebrating such a milestone! Unfortunately Richard Thomas (the well loved John Boy) and Michael Learned were notably absent due to prior commitments but the appearance of the rest of the cast undoubtedly almost made up for it.

 

Oh how I would love to return to Walton’s Mountain; a world where children looked and behaved like children; elders were respected and cared for; families looked out for each other; kindness was shown to strangers and religion was not a dirty word. And not a bare bum in sight! Who said you shouldn’t pay attention to everything you see on TV?

Goodnight everybody.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Old School Stuff, TV Shows

 

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